Although there has been considerable progress in reducing cancer incidence in the United States, the number of cancer survivors continues to increase due to the aging and growth of the population and improvements in survival rates. As a result, it is increasingly important to understand the unique medical and psychosocial needs of survivors and be aware of resources that can assist patients, caregivers, and health care providers in navigating the various phases of cancer survivorship. To highlight the challenges and opportunities to serve these survivors, the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute estimated the prevalence of cancer survivors on January 1, 2012 and January 1, 2022, by cancer site. Data from Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) registries were used to describe median age and stage at diagnosis and survival; data from the National Cancer Data Base and the SEER-Medicare Database were used to describe patterns of cancer treatment. An estimated 13.7 million Americans with a history of cancer were alive on January 1, 2012, and by January 1, 2022, that number will increase to nearly 18 million. The 3 most prevalent cancers among males are prostate (43%), colorectal (9%), and melanoma of the skin (7%), and those among females are breast (41%), uterine corpus (8%), and colorectal (8%). This article summarizes common cancer treatments, survival rates, and posttreatment concerns and introduces the new National Cancer Survivorship Resource Center, which has engaged more than 100 volunteer survivorship experts nationwide to develop tools for cancer survivors, caregivers, health care professionals, advocates, and policy makers.
Published 2012 American Cancer Society, Inc.